Saturday, March 2, 2013

Goles, Valenti among 2014 Region 1 Hall inductees

Legendary coach John Goles and former Kittatinny state champion Matt Valenti will be among the inductees for the Region 1 Hall of Fame in 2014.

Gene Mills, along with Carmine and Sam Rossi round out next year's star-studded class that will be inducted prior to the championships at Wallkill Valley Regional High School.

Former Kittatinny great Roman Fleszar is the lone inductee for 2013 -- the 15th member of the Hall of Fame. Nominees must earn the required 75 percent -- Fleszar received 80 percent -- of the votes by coaches and selected media members.

Goles, one of the original coaches in New Jersey, built the Washington/Warren Hills program into a state powerhouse during his 36 seasons from 1943-79. He compiled a record of 268-154-8 and coached 79 district, 21 region and 39 state champions, as well as 35 state runners-up. Goles, who received 79 percent of votes, also is a member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Okla.

Valenti (91 percent) was a four-time district and three-time region champion for coach John Gill at the Sussex County powerhouse. A two-time state champion and a four-time state medalist, Valenti compiled a career mark of 127-7 from 1998 to 2002 and went onto to become a two-time NCAA champion at the University of Penn, where he currently is a member of the Quakers' coaching staff.

Mills, known as the "Pinning Machine," was a three-time region finalist and two-time champion for DePaul. He was a three-time state qualifier and state champion in 1976. He went to a decorated career at Syracuse and on the international level. Now a high school coach, Mills earned his 200th victory in January at Phoenix High School in Oswego, N.Y. Among his 99 wins at DePaul included a pin in 3:27 over Neptune's Leroy Wallace in the 108-pound state final in '76. He received 81 percent of votes.

Carmine Rossi was the first state champion for Morris County in 1958 and coached two state champions at Dover High School. His brother, Sam, was a two-time region runner-up and the head coach at Roxbury, which was voted the No. 1 team in the state in 1974. Both were co-head coaches of the Jefferson Youth program.

Here are the other nominees and their voting totals. They all will remain on the ballot for 2015.

Jamie Wicks (52 percent) -- Three-time district, two-time region and two-time state champ for the Terriers (1987, '88). Compiled a career mark of 92-5 -- currently ranking 13th on the school's all-time list.

Mike Rossetti (48 percent) -- Former two-time state runner-up and two-time region champion in 1973-74 for Phillipsburg. He also won a Division III national title at Trenton State. The highly-successful coach won a combined seven Group state championships during stints at Jefferson and Phillipsburg.

Chris Skretkowicz (40 percent) -- Three-time district, two-time region champion and three-time state placewinner at Wallkill Valley, where he compiled a mark of 124-13. He was a two-time state finalist, winning the 171-pound title in 2000. Skretkowicz, an assistant coach at Virginia Military Institute, was a two-time All-American at Hofstra University.

Ken Rossi (31 percent) -- Four-time district and two-time region champion -- placing all four years in the regions with two third-place finishes. A four-time state placewinner, Rossi finished second twice (1991, '93). Compiled a career mark of 135-9. Was a member of the great Jefferson teams in the early 1990s, including the state's top-ranked team in 1993.

Jan Michaels (21 percent) -- Regarded as one of the best to come out of Sussex County, Michaels was a two-time district champion and Vernon's only two-time region champ. He was a three-time state qualifier, winning the 148-pound title in 1979 after finishing second in '78. He went on to become a three-time NCAA All-American at North Carolina. A very successful coach, Michaels guided High Point to an overall record of 47-12 in three seasons (1994-96) and three sectional titles. Individually, he coached three region champions, as well as two state finalists.

Bob Zaro (15 percent) -- Considered by many to be the Warren County school's best wrestler, Zaro was a three-time district (1967-69), two-time region (1968-69) and two-time state champion (1968-69) for the Stateliners.

Brett Raimondo (12 percent) -- Two-time district and three-time region champion -- one of only 32 to win three titles in this region -- and the 1988 state champion at 112 pounds. He's the only Mendham wrestler to win three region championships and compiled a career mark of 105-14-1.

Ryan Brennan (3 percent) -- Three-time district and two-time region champion at Randolph. The four-time state qualifier finished fourth in 1998. He compiled a career mark of 120-19.

Todd Sheaffer (3 percent) -- Considered one of the greatest wrestlers in Sparta history, Sheaffer was a four-time district and three-time region champion for the Sussex County school.

Patrick Dattalo (3 percent) -- One of three brothers to compete for coach Mike Suk, Dattalo was a two-time district and two-time state champion -- winning the Donald Ringler Award as the tournament's OW in 2002.

Here are the current Hall of Fame members:


John Barna, Phillipsburg
Mike Frick, Pope John
Henry Boresch, Newton
Greg Surenian, Randolph
Steve Dalling, Kittatinny


John Gardner, High Point
Rick Thompson, Phillipsburg


Ben Oberly, Warren Hills
David Hughes, Jefferson


Gus Rampone, Newton


Steve DePetro, DePaul


Dan Slack, Warren Hills


Greg Cholish, West Morris
Andy Iliff, Newton


Roman Fleszar, Kittatinny

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